, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 18 – The National Authority for the Campaign Against Drugs and Alcohol Abuse (NACADA) Chairman John Mututho has said that his proposals on managing alcohol use in the country have been misinterpreted.
In an interview with Capital FM News, Mututho complained that his proposition for temporary licenses to sell alcohol in homes has been misconstrued to mean that people should get licenses to hold residential parties.
“Kenyans are misinterpreting the law. When you are at home with your family, you are not selling, so why are you worried about this? There is no place here which talks about how you transport alcohol to your house. But Kenyan are interpreting this like the U.S law, where some states don’t drink alcohol on some days and one can be arrested if they pass alcohol through there, but this does not apply in Kenya,” Mututho explained.
However, service providers contracted to supply alcohol in homes or other places have to get temporary licenses since their existing licenses are confined to their areas of operation.
“What happens, for instance, if you hire a certain hotel to go to a place where you have a party and they bring alcohol, will their license be valid?” he queried.
“The answer is no, although the hotel has authority to sell alcohol, their license does not extend to your home. It is confined to the premises of the hotel. For they that the hotel needs to apply for a temporary licence to sell,” he clarified.
Mututho explained that if people have parties in their homes and drink alcohol the law does not apply since they are not selling it.
The former Naivasha legislator is however not worried about the debates going on around his infamous Mututho Laws.
According to him the debates are healthy and do not come as a surprise, since they are a recipe for implementing laws and bringing change.
Mututho however is concerned that police who have a heavy task of self redemption to salvage their tainted image due to deep distrust and accusations of corruption are the ones enforcing the laws.
“We had foreseen a problem with police and enforcement so we created something to be called alcoholics control officer. It was supposed to be gazetted to do what police are doing now. Police were to come for backup, but nobody was gazetted. So the police are doing it as their role of maintaining law and order,” Mututho explained.
He regretted that some police officers especially traffic police go overboard and demand for bribes instead of ensuring no drivers are on the wheel while drunk; “not all of them do it right; there are many who are messing.”
Mututho said the police should be there to arrest drunk drivers and also deploy trained officers to use the alcoblow.
“Let the police stop vehicles for inspection and make arrests. But not allow people who have been known to be super corrupt to come and handle that gadget, just like they are doing on the speed limit,” Mututho warned.
With the devolved government, Mututho said he is working with governors to ensure his campaigns materialise to stop misuse of drugs and alcohol.
Mututho expects that soon the alcohol control officers will be gazetted to ensure efficient and full implementation of laws governing use of alcohol across the country.
Due to the devolved government, he has been holding meetings with governors across the 47 counties in Kenya to crack how they will deal with misuse of alcohol that according to him has become a major challenge.
“In some counties, there is going to be very tough rules. But we are trying our best to harmonise the rules,” he asserted.